Yorkshire pig producers are proposing new ways to improve pig unit biosecurity. Two producer cluster groups in the Yorkshire and Humberside Health (YHH) programme are now acting as ‘pilot’ clusters.
They will provide details to Yorkshire Forward on how funds could be used collaboratively on farms to benefit pig health as part of the funding bid for stage two of the programme.
Practical ideas discussed at a meeting of the Mappleton cluster included:
• to keep feed blower pipes on each unit so that feed wagons do not drag the same pipe across every yard they visit
• to keep a box of brightly coloured overalls and wellies near the unit loading ramp for wagon drivers to wear. This enables the unit staff to make sure the driver is not entering areas of the farm where they may cause a disease risk.
The nine producers in the cluster were also pleased to welcome two veterinary professionals, a contract cleaner and a smallholder to the meeting. The smallholder pig keeper has signed up to YHH and, although his business is very different from the rest of the cluster, his involvement will benefit all parties in managing disease risk.
Veterinary practices across the region continue to work with producers on-farm to complete the confidential pig health survey www.yhh.org.uk. Producers must take part in the survey to qualify for stage two funding. Stage one funding has, to date, covered the cost for vets to complete the health surveys but after the end of February 2010 producers will need to pay for this.
• British Pig Executive